Brodeur's bold plans (cont.)
Posted: Thursday January 3, 2008 9:11AM; Updated: Thursday January 3, 2008 11:17AM
Food for thought
While the coaching gambit wasn't borrowed from his former boss on Long Island, the sublime Al Arbour, Devils coach Brent Sutter was certainly acting in the indomitable Arbour spirit. During practice last Monday, Sutter took a white towel and taped it to the blade of David Clarkson's stick. The message to the rookie right winger, who spends a lot of time banging around the crease, is to keep his stick on the ice instead of waving it like a flag. Sutter said that was the first time he ever had tried this particular teaching tool.
"As soon as he started taping the towel," Clarkson said after the morning skate on Wednesday, "I knew what he was getting at. Now it's up to me to make sure I apply the message."
Arbour was notorious for his didacticism. When he was unhappy with the physical side of a player's game, he would have them carry an egg in their jacket pockets because "the way they went into the corners, they wouldn't have broken an egg."
That was a modestly clever bit ... at least until defenseman Pat Price cracked an egg over Arbour's head. Price escaped with his life, barely.
"Al could really get on you," said Denis Potvin, the Islanders' Hall of Fame defenseman who does color on Florida Panthers games. "He'd say, 'Potvin, I know you skate like you have a piano on your back, but don't stop to play the thing.' Not much you can say to that."
Potvin, by the way, took a cookie from the media meal in New Jersey to his broadcast booth for mid-game sustenance, which reminded his former New York teammate Chico Resch of the time Resch, then a backup goalie, stashed some M&Ms in his blocker to snack on during the game.
"So Al says, 'Billy Smith, you're out. Get in there, Chico,'" Resch recalled. "Let me assure you that M&Ms do melt in your hand."
Locke Out Of Luck
You think you had holiday travel problems. Consider the sad case of Corey Locke.
Locke, who had never played an NHL game since being drafted 113th overall by Montreal in 2003, was summoned from AHL Hamilton to fill in for Canadiens captain Saku Koivu, whose illness forced him to miss the Dec. 30 game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Locke, an undersized center, made it to New York for the Original Six matchup; but his equipment never did. He was listed on the official game sheet, but never dressed. American Airlines might not owe the kid a pair of free tickets to any destination with a hockey team, but it should send him a career. Short a center, the Canadiens were hammered on faceoffs -- the Rangers had a 30-10 advantage after two periods -- and lost, 4-3, in overtime.
Locke, alas, is back in the Hamilton, where he can rack up those frequent Greyhound miles.
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